How and when to get chickens to start using nesting boxes?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Blosing101, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Blosing101

    Blosing101 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2016
    Saint James Missouri
    Hello, I have about 10 hens that are going on 4 months old. I do not see them using their nesting boxes that much. Is this normal??? And when and how do I get them to start using the boxes???
  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    I put golf balls in each of the boxes prior to them beginning to lay. You can also buy plastic or clay eggs from a farm supply store. This gives them the idea to go in there. They will also peck at them and get bored when nothing happens so they shouldn't bother pecking and breaking your eggs once they start finding those in there. Good luck!
  3. Pendragonz

    Pendragonz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2015
    That's a great idea! I will have to remember to put some clay or ceramic eggs in the nest boxes to have them broken of egg pecking before they even start to lay. Thanks for the idea.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You don't want them 'using' the nests until they start laying......don't let them roost(sleep) in them.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Just make the nesting boxes available to them with a couple of fake plastic or wooden eggs salted in one or two of the boxes.

    A couple weeks prior to onset of laying, pullets will "play house" in the nest boxes. They will toss the nest material around and make a huge mess. This is normal learning behavior.

    But as aart points out, do not permit them to sleep in the nests at night. If they try to do that, you need to block them off at night.

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